If it’s one thing traveling nurse Charla Allen wants people to know, it’s that COVID-19 isn’t a hoax and you should definitely listen to guidance provided by health experts.
Allen was out of town taking care of patients when she received a call from her nine-year-old daughter’s babysitter. Her daughter, she was told, was suffering from headaches and a sore throat.
While she was out of town, Allen recalls feeling weird and nauseous herself, but she didn’t think too much into it.
“I had been working, working, working,” she said. “And everyone I would call would tell me I sounded different, but I would just tell them it was because of the hotel I am staying in for working.”
But when the babysitter called, Allen said, she knew. The next day when she got back to her hometown of Tyler, Texas, she instructed her daughter’s school to test her. Within 24 hours, her daughter’s test results had come back positive and Allen herself had started to feel sick too.
She called her doctor to try and get tested, but since her daughter had the virus, it was highly likely that she did as well. From there, the mother-daughter duo began their 14 day self-isolation period.
As her daughter’s symptoms began to subside, Allen said she started to feel more and more ill. “I went down,” she said. “I was sick probably the entire 9 or 10 days. I had started to ask myself ‘Will I ever start to feel better?'”
Her daughter, who was only sick for a brief period, still wanted to play, not even realizing her mom wasn’t feeling well.
“You don’t realize that I’m sick do you?” Allen said she asked her daughter. And no, her daughter responded, she didn’t realize what was going on. She just wanted mommy’s attention.
Allen said she posted on Facebook that she had contracted the virus, and her church members and friends immediately sprang into action.
“They started bringing items to the door. Not just food items, but vitamins too,” she said. Someone even brought her daughter an arts and crafts set to keep her busy, which meant a lot to Allen, considering she wasn’t feeling well enough to give entertain her daughter the way she normally would.
After sharing their story, a lot of people who were scared at first began to reach out to Allen. They had a lot of questions, ranging from symptoms and treatments to what they should do next.
In response, the mother-daughter duo, now feeling better, began asking for people’s address so they could bless others the way they were blessed during the bout with COVID-19. Visiting at least three homes per week, Allen said “we would drop off items and activities. Things for people to do while they’re stuck home with their kids and have no way out.”
Allen said she still has a few minor setbacks and is on the road to recovery, and she wants people to understand the seriousness of the virus. “It is very serious,” she said. “We didn’t have major symptoms, we didn’t have the fevers. We were going places that required temperature checks every day [and still contracted the virus].
Even after her daughter tested negative, it’s still hard to find a new babysitter, because other people also have a responsibility to keep their family safe.
It’s something that affects everyone, Allen said, so be sure to wash your hair hands regularly and mask up when going out in public spaces.
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